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Vanilla duck breast

This promises to be the best duck breast you’ve ever made! Floral vanilla is right at home alongside sweet maple syrup and salty soy. A long, slow render results in crisp skin and succulent meat. 



  • 2 duck breasts, trimmed of excess fat, tenderloins removed
  • 1 cup (240 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) black peppercorns
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) soy sauce


  1. In a saucepan combine maple syrup, garlic, vanilla bean, and peppercorns, and simmer the sauce for ten minutes to infuse flavours.
  2. Strain sauce and keep warm until needed.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). 
  4. Pat the duck breasts dry to remove moisture.
  5. Score a crosshatch pattern into the fat of the duck breasts making sure not to cut to the meat of the breast.
  6. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the fat and flesh side of the breasts.
  7. Place the duck breast skin-side down in a cold pan and slowly bring the heat up to medium.
  8. Sear for 10 to 12 minutes, until the skin has rendered off most of its fat and is crispy.
  9. Flip breasts, and transfer pan to the oven for eight to 10 minutes.
  10. Remove the breasts from the pan when they reach an internal temperature of 133° F (56.1° C), and let them rest for 4 to 5 minutes.
  11. While the duck rests, stir the soy into the warm reserved sauce until combined.
  12. To serve, slice the breasts against the grain into thin (quarter inch/6 mm) slices.
  13. Transfer the slices to serving plates and drizzle with the sauce.
  14. Serve immediately. Enjoy! 

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